Collages constructed from black and white get a fresh boost when juxtaposed with dynamic strips of color. A paper-cut mountain terrain contextualizes a technology takeover. Illustrator and designer Mike McQuade understands how to strike a perfect balance between drawing interest in thought-provoking articles and engaging readers with visual communication.
From essays on medical malpractice to a former president's glory days, McQuade creates the visuals to enhance the in-depth articles. The illustrator has worked professionally in graphic design for nearly 15 years. Pairing his collages with hard facts puts forward a visual respite and establishes tension between compelling news journalism and conceptual art. Outside of his client work, he consistently finds time to hone his own personal projects and "use images in the most abstracted way possible," he tells Creators.
McQuade's litany of collage work has appeared in publications like the New York Times, The New Yorker, WIRED, and GOOD magazine. McQuade describes how he goes about tailoring each of his pieces, "The way I go about constructing a piece varies depending on the subject matter and concept, [but] I tend to let the concept lead. The tone of each piece also varies…from serious political collages to more abstract and expressive. A piece could land in a range of executions including analog collage, digital illustration, abstract image, or a combination."